1 Now it happened a on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in b the inner court of the king's palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the 1 house. 2 So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that c she found favor in his sight, and d the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. 3 And the king said to her, "What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? e It shall be given to you - up to half the kingdom!" 4 So Esther answered, "If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him." 5 Then the king said, "Bring Haman quickly, that he may do as Esther has said." So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6 At the banquet of wine f the king said to Esther, g "What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!" 7 Then Esther answered and said, "My petition and request is this: 8 "If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and 2 fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the h banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said."New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.